Grant, UMass Baseball, Blank URI, 2-0
April 6, 2013
KINGSTON, R.I. - Behind a stellar pitching performance from sophomore Andrew Grant, the UMass baseball team blanked Rhode Island, 2-0 on Saturday afternoon on Bill Beck Field. Grant, who allowed just four hits on the day, tossed the first complete game shutout for the Minutemen (4-16, 1-4 A-10) since Mitchell Clegg went the distance in a 3-0 victory over Saint Joseph's on Apr. 17, 2009.
Grant worked around a pair of one-out singles by the Rams' Shane O'Connell and Joe Landi in the bottom of the third with a ground ball and a fly out to preseve the scoreless deadlock. UMass then threatened in its next trip to the plate as junior Rob McLam ripped a two-out double into the left field corner, but was thrown out at home after attempting to score from second on a single to right by junior Nik Campero.
However, the Minutemen did convert with two away the following inning to take a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Jeff Cavanaro legged out an infield single with one down in the top of the fifth and classmate Paul Yanakopulos followed with a single through the right side that sent Cavanaro to third. Freshman Vinny Scifo's two-out RBI single up the middle brought in Cavanaro, ending URI starter Sean Furney's streak of 28.1 scoreless innings. Yanakopulos scored the squad's second run on a double steal.
Scifo then helped preserve the 2-0 lead in the bottom of the inning, snaring a line drive and doubling off O'Connell at second after the Rams had put a pair of runners on with one out.
Grant worked around leadoff walks in both the eighth and the ninth, two of three he had in the contest, and ended both frames with his third and fourth strikeouts of the day. He picked up his second win of the season, improving to 2-3 on the year.
Furney took the loss (3-3) for URI after surrendering two runs on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over eight innings on the mound.
Campero had his second multi-hit game of the weekend for UMass, going 2-for-4, while Cavanaro and Yanakopulos were both 1-for-3 at the plate with a run scored. Landi finished with two of the Rams' four hits, going 2-for-3 on the day.
The teams will be back in action tomorrow, Apr. 7, with the rubber game of the weekend series set to begin at noon.